“Billy O'Rourke”


Billy sets out for Dublin and takes ship. Though a great storm blows up, Billy pays no attention. After he lands, a robber tries to hold him up, but Billy's shillelagh is quicker. Billy tells of his other adventures

Supplemental text

Billy O'Rourke
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio, #145, p. 311.
From Mrs. Robert R. Cox, Steubenville, Ohio.

1. I father'd me brogues and spit on me stick
   The latter end of May, sir,
   And up to Dublin I did go
   To sail upon the say, sir.
   I gave the captain six thirteens
   To carry me over to Pargate;
   And before we got the half the way
   The wind it blew at hard rate.

   With me kille-ma-khu, and rogger-a-dhu,
   And Billy O'Rourke the boy, sir.

2. Some were on their bended knees,
   And others they were cryin',
   But I stuck to the bread and cheese,
   I always minded the atin',
   The captain says, "To the bottom you'll go;"
   Says Billy, I don't care a farthing;
   You promised to carry me to the other side,
   And I'll make you stand to your bargain.

3. And when I landed on the other side
   And I set our for travelin',
   I met a gentleman on the road
   Who proved to be a rascal.
   He clapped pistol to me breast
   And told me to deliver,
   But the pan it flashed,
   And his brains I smashed
   With a shillalah that never missed fire.


Broadside LOCSinging as101080: J. Andrews dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS


  • LOCSinging, as101080, "Billy O'Rourke," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859


  1. Eddy 145, "Billy O'Rourke" (1 text)
  2. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 318-320, "Billy O'Rourke" (1 text)
  3. OLochlainn-More 51, "Billy O'Rourke" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. O'Conor, p. 99, "Billy O'Rourke" (1 text)
  5. ST E145 (Full)
  6. Roud #2101
  7. BI, E145


Author: unknown
Earliest date: c.1820 (OLochlainn-More); 1849 (Journal from the Euphrasia)
Found in: US(MW) Ireland